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NBA -- League okays Rivers to Clippers deal


PhilBoxing.com




CHICAGO -- Glenn "Doc" Rivers officially became the head coach of the Los Angeles Clippers on Monday after the NBA office in New York agreed to the deal that would allow Rivers to leave the Boston Celtics in exchange for an unprotected 2015 first round pick.

Rivers will replace Vinny Del Negro, who was fired despite a fruitful 56-26 season where the Clippers won the Pacific Division title for the first time in franchise history. The Clippers, who play second fiddle to the Lakers in Los Angeles, went on a 17-game winning run to highlight their season, but they failed to get out of the opening round of the playoffs, losing to the Memphis Grizzlies in six games.

The 51-year old Rivers, a father of four, is a Chicago native who went to high school in Proviso East High and played college ball at Marquette University in nearby Milwaukee, Wisconsin. His 3-year, $21-million contract in Boston will be absorbed by the Clippers, ending weeks of muddled, back-and-forth negotiations.

The Celtics decided to deal Rivers after he made it clear that he does not want to be part of a franchise rebuilding process. With an aging core of 37-year old Kevin Garnett and 35-year old Paul Pierce, the Celtics appear headed to a rocky road instead of a championship run. And the fact that 27-year old All-Star Rajon Rondo is coming off ACL surgery doesn't help the Celtics cause.

An accomplished and well-respected coach who steered the Celtics to the 2008 NBA crown, Rivers has a coaching record of 587-473, which includes his stint with the Orlando Magic, where he was named Coach of the Year in 2000.

Clippers free agent point guard Chris Paul reportedly lobbied for management to bring in Rivers. And while Paul hasn't formally committed to re-sign a max contract extension with the Clippers, Rivers is taking on his new job with the expectation that he'll be coaching Paul. (JAM)


Click here to view a list of other articles written by John Aldwin Mahipos.


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